Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Reading: Inferno (canto 4)

Canto 4
Into the Abyss! The Inferno's a giant pit with populated rings (“circles”) around the edges. Circle #1 is quiet & still: Limbo. It's Virgil's home turf, with the other pagans unlucky enough to be born before Christ's sacrifice. There's regret in Virgil's voice when he tells us that only once has anyone gone from Limbo to Heaven: the Judaic prophets, paroled by Jesus Himself. Dante & Virgil talk shop with Homer, Horace, & Ovid—Dante's got chutzpah classing himself with them! Then there's a Homeric list of Limbo's denizens, mythic (Hector), historical (Socrates), even a Muslim (Averroes).

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